Suspend Your Disbelief

Author Takes

Author Takes |

How to Squeeze a Story Out of the Soul; Or, How to Squeeze the Soul Out of a Story

Something I often heard in my experience as an MFA student was that one should write “painfully slow,” making every sentence count by tinkering with each word before moving on to the next one. In short: the story stalls, or never soars. The sentence is god. Typically, creative writing courses focus on the language of scene, character, plot, and dialogue the way we learn the parts of speech. This is the predicate; it should follow the subject sounds incredibly similar to This is the denouement; it should follow the climax. Even at the graduate level, workshops expend their energy with […]


Author Takes |

Yes, Virginia, Some Agents DO Love Short Stories: a guest post by Julie Barer

Editor’s note: As part of our Short Story Month celebrations, we’re delighted to present this guest post by agent Julie Barer of Barer Literary. I once dated a man who shared my taste in fiction almost completely. Diehard fan of the often overlooked Canadian writer Robertson Davies? Check. Particularly drawn to novels that played with genre like Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go and Susannah Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell? Another check. Books that seemed written for young adults but read just as well for grownups, like Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games Trilogy? Triple points. As you can imagine, this […]